Access to Your Portfolio
Who will have access to my portfolio?
The contents of your portfolio is private unless you decide to share specific content with others within the University, or publically on the internet.
You may add University students and tutors as 'friends' so that they are conveniently listed as contacts. However, your friends will not be able to access your portfolio contents unless you specifically share those contents with them.
Your portfolio 'wall' is visible to all users who have logged into Mahara, and they are able to post messages on your wall. To access your wall, click your name at the top of the page, where you can manage any messages or hide your wall entirely.
You may be automatically added by your tutor to a Mahara Group space in order to access shared files and information related to your portfolio use. However group members will not be able to view your personal portfolio unless you specifically share content with them.
You can create 'secret URLs' to allow users who do not have a University login to gain access to specific areas of your portfolio, and search engines will not be able to find this content unless you publish the ‘secret URL’ on a web page. Please note that any page which you share as 'Public' will be available to external users..
The University’s IT Support Desk may access your portfolio and its contents at any time as system administrators however they will only do so where this is specifically required to support your use of Mahara, or to investigate a report or complaint about content in your portfolio.
Rules of Acceptable Use
What are the rules for creating content in my portfolio?
This service is provided for your private, strictly non-commercial use to help you develop your academic portfolio and for you to receive feedback and comments from other students, staff and external third parties with whom you choose to share your portfolio content. Your use of this service and the Group Spaces created must be strictly consistent with these purposes. By using Mahara, you accept that you will be responsible for your online conduct and the material you post. You will also be subject to the following terms:
- You agree to be bound by the University's Information Security Policies, including specifically the requirements about safeguarding your password
- You are responsible for ensuring you have appropriate permission to reproduce and publish any work that is not your own. All files and content you copy, upload to and share within Mahara must comply with the University's Copyright Guidelines.
- You must not use your portfolio or any groups you create to, store, display or publish material that is offensive, defamatory, discriminatory, may bring the University into disrepute, constitutes bullying or harassment, may encourage or constitute illegal activity, or is otherwise unlawful or generally unacceptable.
- You must not post material which is in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998, has been disclosed to you in confidence or which, by its nature, is confidential
- You must not compromise the privacy or security of anyone other than yourself
- You must not post any inappropriate images to your portfolio
- You must not place on your portfolio site, or link to a third party site, any material which will give rise to any third party claims or provide a link to a third party site which may do so
- You must not place any links in your portfolio where those links take users to unlawful material or material that otherwise contravenes these Rules of Acceptable Use
- You are wholly responsible for any unsolicited contact you receive as a result of personal information you have publicly released via your portfolio
- The University accepts no responsibility for any statements, material or other submissions placed on the Mahara forums by you or any third party, or for any resultant loss or damage
What will happen if I breach these Rules?
Where the University’s IT Support Desk receives a report of a breach of these Rules of Acceptable Use, your access to Mahara may be disabled immediately and the matter will be referred to an appropriate member of staff within your programme of study. You may also be subject to disciplinary action under the University’s Student Conduct Regulations and where relevant, the Fitness to Practise Regulations.
What are the rules for communications in other users’ portfolios?
The above Rules of Acceptable Use will apply to any material or content which is posted by you or other internal users to another user’s portfolio or to a Group Space. Any complaint about the behaviour of users of Mahara should be reported to the IT Support Desk immediately and will be investigated under the University’s Complaints Handling Procedure. If the matter is considered to be a breach of the Rules of Acceptable Use, this will be investigated under the Student Conduct Regulations and/or Fitness to Practise Regulations as above.
Unacceptable behaviour covers a wide range of misconduct but in addition to the examples given in the Rules of Acceptable Use this will include:
- intentionally attempting to load files with virus content; or
- placing inappropriate feedback or comments on any other user's portfolio
What should I know before I give external users access to my portfolio spaces?
In order to gain feedback and comments on your portfolio, you may grant access to specific areas of your portfolio to users who do not have a University login by creating a 'secret URL'. Please note that:
- you are solely responsible for informing any such external users that any comments they place in your portfolio are only will be visible to yourself, any other users to whom you have granted shared access and authorised system adminstrators; and
- the University will not be responsible for monitoring or moderating any such third party content and/or any related postings. Any postings which breach the above Rules of Acceptable Use should be reported to the IT Support Desk who will consider what action is appropriate in the circumstances.